If youâ€™ve ever experienced the compassion and care lovingly given by a hospice volunteer to a member of your family, you know how important they are. Oftentimes, as a result of this association, those who were served by a hospice volunteer become volunteers themselves later.
Northland Hospice is holding a free volunteer training Tuesday, Mar. 10, from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the Ray County Library, 215 East Lexington in Richmond.
Veronica Evans, volunteer coordinator for Northcare Hospice, said volunteers are essential to the program.
â€œWe would really welcome some volunteers in the Richmond area. Itâ€™s a life-changing and rewarding opportunity,â€ said Evans.â€
If you have a desire to work with people, enjoy being helpful and serving others, then perhaps volunteering with a hospice is right for you.
How can you help?
According to the hospice Web site, itâ€™s really pretty simple. Friendly visits are appreciated, and provides the caregivers with a much-needed break. Sometimes volunteers run errands or do light housekeeping. Others help patients leave their legacy through video.
Volunteers do not do nursing duties or administer medications, but can provide support through being with the patient as part of the No One Dies Alone Program.
â€œI canâ€™t say enough about the hospice program. Itâ€™s just a wonderful program to have,â€ said Marcy Howard of Richmond. Howardâ€™s husband passed away last fall, and she was very appreciative of the hospice volunteers.
â€œMy husband was so sick, and I took care of him and worked a full-time job. It was hard to work all day and come home and take care of him too, but I always put him first,â€ said Howard. â€œThe hospice people were wonderful and came to give me breaks and help.â€
â€œComing to hospice training, youâ€™ll learn how to be a volunteer and how to communicate with someone who is losing a loved one, or who has lost a loved one, or you can become an advocate,â€ Evans said. â€œVolunteer hours are extremely flexible. We work with your schedule.â€
There is even a Teen Volunteer Program, and those with friendly pets are encouraged to participate in the Friendly Pet Visits part of the hospice program.
â€œIâ€™ve been involved with hospice for over six years. It has showed me how to live my life differently and not to take things for granted,â€ said Evans. â€œI try to tell the people that are important to me that I love them. We donâ€™t know how long our journey is. I speak from experience. I have a teenage daughter and no matter what, before she walks out the door I make sure she knows that I love her. Itâ€™s the little things that are so important.â€
The training is free and snacks and lunch are provided. For more information, please contact Veronica Evans, Volunteer Coordinator, at 816-691-5119 or volu...@northcarehospice.org.